Originally Posted by badsha
The insole stains/spots, are these normal? Others with similar spots?
Feel the insole with the tip of your finger. If it is cement or glue the surface will feel different--tacky/rubber-y if it is cement; hard/glazed if it is glue.
I have never seen such a thing before but I am going to take a wild guess and suggest that it is a combination of a new source of insole leather and perhaps an attempt to "erase" iron stains left over from tacking the insole to the bottom of the last. Iron tacks leave black stains as they react with the tannins in the leather.
Some makers may use oxalic acid (a mild acid derived from rhubarb) to remove these stains; others may use citric acid (never worked for me). But the acid itself will react to the various tannins somewhat, often turning the leather a reddish colour expecially if baking soda or some such base is subsequently used to neutralize the acid.
If there is a residue of glue or cement, by all means complain.. If the leather feels uniform under your figertip, I wouldn't worry about it. The insole itself will take on many such stains and colourations simply by virtue of perspiration and heat emmanating from the plantar surface of the foot.After about ten-20 wears the insole won't be that awful pink colour but a patina-d brown.